Thursday, June 26, 2014

Victor Hugo's 6 Year Interior Design Project During Exile on the Isle of Guernsey

Victor Hugo, France, exile, Guernsey

Victor Hugo purchased “Hauteville House” in St. Peter Port, Guernsey, in 1856 and spent 6 years decorating the three story home high on the Hill.
The great writer used only Guernsey craftsmen to follow his designs and did not hire an architect or a decorator for his exile home on the Isle of Guernsey. This bedroom was designed with furniture he shipped over from France.

Victor Hugo, Hauteville House

He was exiled for his outspoken political views during the time of Napoleon III. He left France for exile from 1856 to 1870. The image shows Victor Hugo and his family in from of “Hauteville House.”

Les Miserables, Victor Hugo

During his exile he finished his masterpiece, Les Miserables.  In his Toilers of the Sea, he called Guernsey the “Rock of hospitality.”

Victor Hugo, Isle of Guernsey, drawing room

The drawing room is quite stunning!  The drapery treatments and the pelmet valances are very elegant.  Our Wesco Fabrics’ custom workroom fabricates similar treatments today for customers around the country.

Victor Hugo

The wall and ceiling treatment is a bit eccentric but very interesting.

Victor Hugo, Wesco Fabrics

I love the tiles in the dining room.

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo, Hautaeville House, Guernsey

We visited Hauteville House, which is now a museum, many years ago during a visit to see my sister and her family. I was totally amazed at the unusual décor.

Victor Hugo, St. Peter Port, Castle Cornet

The 3rd floor conservatory with views of St. Peter Port and Castle Cornet was a favorite.

Victor Hugo memorial, Candie Gardens

The memorial to Victor Hugo in Candie Gardens depicts him looking at his favorite view of the harbor and the sea.

Of the wonderful Victor Hugo quotations from his prolific writings, a favorite of mine is:
“To love another person is to see the face of God.”

Images by Hazel Thompson and Rejean Pellerin.

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